A woman’s body undergoes a number of changes throughout different phases of her life. These changes trigger hormonal symptoms and affect a woman’s mood, food cravings, weight, energy level as well as libido. Women experience hormonal fluctuations from a very young age, therefore it is important for them to have a clear idea about how hormones function, what causes hormonal imbalance and the risks associated with it.
Hormones are responsible for all the internal body functions. The endocrine system produces the hormones and they flow through the body to manage all the bodily functions. Hormonal imbalance occurs when the levels of one or more hormones are disrupted. Hormonal imbalance often takes a toll on a woman’s physical and mental health, so it is important for all women to keep a check on the hormone levels.
The good news is – hormonal imbalance tests such as saliva tests, blood spot tests, and others can now be performed at home with help of at-home hormonal test kits. So if you feel cranky all through the day, put on weight consistently or lose interest in physical relationship with your partner, perform a hormonal imbalance test and find out ways to bring things back on track.
A number of hormones are produced within our body and they must work in tandem with each other to ensure well-being in a human being. When the chemistry between hormones is disrupted you experience a number of health problems.
Some of the main causes of hormonal imbalance in women are:
Stress – Stress increases the cortisol levels in the body, which in turn reduces the progesterone levels. This discrepancy in the hormone levels creates an imbalance and gives rise to several symptoms.
Lack of Exercise – Regular exercise helps the body maintain weight, ensure proper digestion and combat various other problems. Lack of exercise can lead to several complications including hormonal imbalance.
Puberty – Puberty is one of the major changes that a woman experiences in her life. The hypothalamus releases ‘Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)’ which in turn signals the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones prepare the body for physical and emotional changes. Since there are a lot of changes going on within the body, a woman experiences several symptoms such as mood swings, insomnia, acne, fatigue, etc.
Pregnancy – The hormonal changes during pregnancy are unique since there is a sudden increase in the levels of progesterone and estrogens. Since the amount and functions of the hormones are altered during pregnancy, women can experience the side-effects of the imbalance.
Menopause – The estrogen levels fluctuate during menopause and give rise to several symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, etc.
Dietary Factors – Poor diet can lead to hormonal imbalance, in both men and women. Poor diet raises insulin levels, cortisol secretion and also results in increased stores of estrogen in fat cells.
Medications – medications such as birth control pills, certain medicines used during hormone replacement therapy can result in hormone imbalance.
Hormone testing can quickly reveal discrepancies in hormone levels and help you combat the problems arising due to the imbalance.
Risks Associated with Hormonal Imbalance
Hormone imbalance can result in several health conditions apart from the regular side-effects which include weight gain, insomnia, lower libido, sudden food cravings, etc. If hormonal imbalance is not treated, it can lead to severe infertility, breast cancer, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Symptom), irregular periods and other health problems. Hormonal imbalance can also result in changes in appearance in a woman. For example, hormonal imbalance can lead to excessive facial or bodily hairs or even skin pigmentation or there might be excessive hair loss from the scalp as well.
When left untreated, hormonal imbalance can lead to severe complications. Therefore, quick diagnosis and treatment are recommended. In most cases, hormonal imbalance can be treated by introducing positive changes in diet and lifestyle; however, in some cases hormone treatments might be required. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used to normalize the hormone levels and help women enjoy a healthy life. However, women must discuss the risks and benefits before undergoing the treatment.
A large number of women across the world suffer from hormonal imbalance. While some women suffer from this condition due to poor lifestyle, some suffer due to reasons which are not under their control. No matter the reason is hormonal imbalance must be treated without delay. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems.
Therefore, if you experience the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, perform a home test and discuss the results with your doctor. Remember, hormones are important to ensure healthy body; however, when the balance is lost, it can create a lot of problems. So keep a check on the hormone levels and enjoy a healthy life!